Aparna Ganesan

From left, District 70 State Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, chair of the House natural resources and environment committee, Eagle’s Landing Middle School student Aparna Ganesan and Charlotte Nash of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District celebrate Aparna’s win in the water district’s recent essay contest.

Balancing quality and quantity is top of mind for the Henry County Water Authority.

“Among the many challenges (it) addresses every day is to provide quality drinking water to more than 60,000 customers, while assuring there is enough raw water supply and water production capacity to meet their demands,” authority spokesman Chris Wood said in a statement.

Recently, a sixth-grader at Eagle's Landing Middle School in McDonough pondered that same scenario with prize-winning results.

Aparna Ganesan answered the challenge of the 16th annual middle school essay contest sponsored by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District to write about how water quality and water quantity issues are equally important in Georgia.

The district and the authority within it often work together on promoting water conservation, wise water use and natural resources protection, Wood said.

Aparna earned recognition from the Henry County school board, a $100 prize and a trip to the Georgia Capitol, where celebrants included District 70 State Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, chair of the House natural resources and environment committee.

Wood said more than 1,200 students submitted essays from Atlanta and 15 metro area counties.

Aparna’s success may have begun three years ago at the authority’s outdoor education center in Locust Grove.

“Henry County’s Cubihatcha Kids field trips provide an excellent example for how the authority educates all of their school system’s third-graders on water resource issues, which lays the foundation for their middle schoolers to be able to produce quality essays for the contest each year,” Sarah S. Skinner of the Atlanta Regional Commission and the water district said in a statement.

Authority Environmental Compliance Coordinator Tara Brown agreed.

“The essays provide evidence of how our local students are becoming more aware and involved in water conservation and environmental protection,” she said in a statement.

The district-wide winner was Jolee Northrop, an eighth-grader from Hightower Trail Middle School, representing Cobb County.

In other authority news, fishing season is open.

Residents can pull bass, catfish and other catches out of the Tussahaw and Upper Towaliga Reservoirs on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 30.

Like last year, permits are $45, with senior and handicapped discounts, at the water authority’s main office, 1695 Hwy. 20 West in McDonough.

“Local anglers continue to enjoy the convenience and value of fishing on HCWA reservoirs, as nearly 1,300 citizens purchased reservoir use permits during 2017,” Wood said.

Mid-week and weekend fishing and boating are enhanced by the authority’s adherence to “more stringent regulatory standards than recreational lakes,” he said, which creates “ideal fishing conditions” at the protected natural resources.

Authority General Manager Lindy Farmer said their pristine conditions make the reservoirs favorite locales for locals.

“We continue to receive positive feedback from the public about the quality, the convenience and the value of fishing on our reservoirs,” he said in a statement. “Our customers seem to be very appreciative of the opportunity to have access to our reservoirs and other properties for recreation. This is a service we have provided for many years, and we look forward to hosting another successful year of public fishing in 2018.”

The authority also launched a new website.

Information: 678-583-3930 or http://bit.ly/2FmZuWx

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